Portraiture Then and Now 2001-2012
Our Communications Office is populated with many, many publications: archive issues of Studio, press clippings, newspapers, magazines, press releases...but our favorite publications often come in colorful, lavish packaging with pages so captivating we are always eager to discuss. The books featuring our artists always grab our attention, and the new profile of Kehinde Wiley (2012), which will be published later this spring, is no exception. We are pleased to share a preview of the newest book about Wiley’s extraordinary portraiture, which he commenced in 2001 while in residence at our Museum, and the World Stage series, which brought him acclaim.
at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Last seen in the spring of 2010, Romare Bearden’s The Block (1971) is on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in celebration of the centennial of his birthday. On the eve of his first museum retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in 1971, Bearden was seated in writer and close friend Albert Murray’s apartment, as he recorded the view of Lenox Avenue between 132nd and 133rd streets in a series of sketches, which informed the process for the six paneled, 18 foot wide triumph, The Block.
Kehinde Wiley Preview | The Wind Up at The Jewish Museum
One amazing truth about Hip-Hop music is that it has the power to embed itself anywhere in the world and become part of a global urban culture. Drop a beat, enter your language here, and it becomes a vessel, a mirror of whatever you want it to be. Last night at The Jewish Museum, Hip-Hop reflected a beautiful mix of language, religion, art and culture in The Wind Up. Israel and Hip-Hop were all wrapped up in one beautiful package inspired by Kehinde Wiley’s newest exhibition, The World Stage: Israel, at The Jewish Museum.
Beginning Thursday, March 8, Piers 92 and 94 will house the Armory Show, a leading international modern and contemporary art fair. Now in its fourteenth year, the Armory Show 2012 offers a more diverse and comprehensive representation of the global art world than ever before. Unique to this year, the fair will feature 2012 Commission Artist Theaster Gates, while the Amory Focus will highlight contemporary art from the Nordic countries. Gates is an artist and cultural planner whose practice ranges from sculpture to installation and performance to urban intervention. Through the re-purposing of historical objects and contemporary sites, Gates activates the memories and ephemera of our past to generate a provoking yet poetic understanding of cultural moments and spaces today.
It’s Tuesday at The Studio Museum in Harlem. A bustling and vibrant group meets in the Atrium Café, the usual meeting place, filling the air and the moment with smiles. Familiar faces mingle, discuss, and observe before the start of yet another exciting Arts & Minds program. Twice a month, this diverse group of people come together to join in on a conversation—an experience—around a selected piece of artwork in the Museum.
I should also mention that this diverse group is composed of adults suffering with memory disorders and their caregivers—add in a couple of volunteers, staff and a teaching artist and you get Arts & Minds! Arts & Minds is an organization that brings adults with memory disorders and their caregivers together in new experiences of art. Through gallery discussions and hands-on art activities, Arts & Minds opens a window to creativity and well-being.
On a chilly winter afternoon, Assistant Curator, Naima J. Keith and I dropped in on world-renowned and revered abstract artist Jack Whitten. Intent on leaving the bustle and chaos behind in Manhattan, Jack converted an old firehouse on a quiet street in Woodside, Queens into his studio 9 years ago.
As we stepped into his spacious main room that has been arranged as part gallery/workspace on one side and living/domestic space on the other, our eyes were immediately drawn to a wall covered with photographs, posters, bones, and wood pieces. He began telling us about his love for deep sea fishing and Crete, which is where many of the skeletons arranged throughout the workspace came from. There was an image of Nkisi Power Figures from Kongo, which were the root of inspiration for all of the impeccable wooden sculptures that Whitten has been creating since the 1960s.
in Conversation with Lauren Haynes
Enjoy a clip from last week's The Artist Voice: Robert Pruitt in Conversation with Lauren Haynes. Pruitt discusses Romare Bearden's impact and influence on his artwork and the impetus behind his drawing Conjuring Woman, 2011 featured in The Bearden Project (on view through March 11, 2012).
In Conversation at the Brooklyn Museum
On Thursday, February 16th, I attended an installment of the In Conversation Series hosted by MAD Free at the Brooklyn Museum. It featured an in-depth discussion and forum with Melissa Harris-Perry, professor and MSNBC commentator, and with writer and activist Michaela Angela Davis. The dialogue took cues from Harris-Perry’s new book Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America, which comments on the persistence of stereotypes and misrecognition that afflict black women. Furthermore, these images aid in creating very material consequences that affect black women’s political and social standing in America.